Thanks for having a Miller Lite with us.
I almost busted my ass on the way up here! That would have been hilarious.
So we’ve read all about you.
You know all about me? Then why we are doing an interview?
We’re going to try to learn something new. Who is your current mentor?
Jay Abraham a legendary marketer. He is one of the guys who created the direct marketing space. He’s mentored Tony Robbins and many of us.
You’ve said, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” Did you ever imagine this many millions would follow?
No, no. Well, when I was young or when I started FUBU? Which one?
When I was young it was very clear I was going to be a millionaire by the time I was 18 because I was one of the slickest guys in school. I wasn’t the smartest, but I was the cool guy in school. I took a year off in between high school and college that turned into five years off. All of a sudden the dumb guys in school were coming into Red Lobster and I was serving them tartar sauce and shrimp. I was embarrassed because they now had college degrees and I was so smart, but I was their waiter and didn’t have any money. Then I realized how dumb I was for thinking that I could ever make money like that.
When was the last time you went to a Red Lobster?
I just went to Red Lobster a month ago. I gotta eat somewhere!
You have to love the cheddar biscuits.
The cheddar biscuits are actually what made me create FUBU because when the cheddar biscuits came out I couldn’t stand all of the people who would come in and ask for biscuits, biscuits and more biscuits and then they’d drink water and just leave. I was like, “I can’t take this anymore. There has to be a better way.”
What is your relationship like now with your friends who you started FUBU with?
My friends who I started it with are all partners, but beyond that I probably have about 15 of them that still work for me. Most of the friends who work for me I’ve known since I was about 15 or 16 years old. We always separate work and friendship, but listen, I’ve probably fired 20 or 25 friends over the course of my time because it just didn’t work out. They may have went on into the fashion industry and made more money doing something else but at least I brought them into the industry … I am fortunate to still be around my friends from when I was 10 years old. I really value them. When you listen to them they’ll have no problem putting you in check when you are out of line and I think that’s helpful.
How has famed changed you?
Wow, these are really good questions. How has notoriety changed me? You know, I actually don’t know because in the FUBU days I was just as known but in a different circle so I’ve really been in the spotlight for going on 20 years now. I think the “Shark Tank” thing has changed me only in the sense that I now get pitched very often so I have to really value the fact that somebody is telling me their life dream and I have to be very sensitive to that. No matter how crazy I think it is, I have to give them a lot of attention because what I say to them they perceive it as life changing information.
Do you still spend a lot of time in the day-to-day logistics of FUBU?
My day is all broken up between all of my companies.
Where do you typically work out of?
I’m on the road 200 to 225 days of the year so the office is technically here on my phone. I go into my New York office probably about six days a month and my L.A. office four or five days a month, something like that.
Would you say the best years are yet to come for you?
I’m just warmin’ up, man. I am just warmin’ up!
One thing you don’t go a day without doing?
Reading my goals. I have certain goals and I keep them in my Blackberry. Some are set for a six-month expiration, others are set for five years and others are set for 20.
Can you share a goal you have for 20 years down the line?
I have very private and personal goals so let me think which ones I can share with you. One of them from where I visualize myself in 20 years is owning boutique hotels.
Best way to get to know someone?
Play a game of Monopoly with them. Why? Because it’s a really long game and people’s true sides begin to come out. After playing for a few hours people start to act like it is real money. When they start cheating or finding grey areas you really see their character. It shows how fast they make decisions, how sometimes they don’t make decisions and if they blame other people or take the blame themselves. You see a lot of a person’s character if you really watch how they play Monopoly.
What is something you enjoy doing for yourself even though you could hire someone else to do it?
Cook. I cook everything from fish to meat to barbecue.
How many times have you fallen in love?
In real love? Probably about four. Puppy love? Like 200. I used to fall in love with a new chick at the club every night!
Worst date you’ve ever been on?
I took a girl out and she crapped on herself and my bodyguard. So it was the worst date for him too! She had went to the bathroom when we were out to a nice dinner and when she came back she was acting really strange. I thought she was just drunk or something but when we were leaving I realized it was because she had, uh, loose bowel movements.
That sounds horrible. Favorite song right now?
“Going the Distance” from “Rocky”. I listen to it everyday while I’m reading my goals.
Best day of your life thus far?
The day that my daughter was born.
How old is she now?
I don’t really talk about that part of my life.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Great question. Steven Spielberg. The reason being is that Steven Spielberg is one of the most successful people in the world and he still makes sure that every single day he is home by six o’clock to eat dinner with his kids, which I find fascinating.
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